Lessons for life

10th September 2004 at 01:00
LEARNING FOR LIVING. By Mary Gurney. PSHE and Citizenship 4-11. Book 1: The Foundation Stage, pound;32. Book 2: Key Stage 1, pound;38. Book 3: Lower Key Stage 2, pound;38. Book 4: Upper Key Stage 2, pound;38. Grassroots Publishing. www.psheandcitizenship.co.uk

If you are a primary school PSHEcitizenship co-ordinator or headteacher desperate to find a co-ordinated scheme that meets the national curriculum, your prayers have been answered.

Mary Gurney's four-book series, Learning for Living, is packed with lesson plans and photocopiable resources that will fill an entire primary curriculum from four through to 11. Each book covers eight or nine modules divided into a collection of self-contained, single lesson topics.

Four themes are developed over the series: personal management; relationships; health and safety; and citizenship.

Dr Gurney is a retired educational psychologist who developed these materials in partnership with a school with large numbers of children with special needs. The project created a spiral curriculum that sought not only to extend children's knowledge and develop their thinking, listening and speaking, but also to increase self-esteem and so improve behaviour. An action research project accompanying the implementation of the material demonstrates the success of Dr Gurney's work.

The books are the result of wide consultation and were revised throughout the writing after suggestions by parents, pupils and teachers. Learning for Living will provide an excellent core resource for schools.

The materials are tightly organised and well-labelled, making them an easy off-the-shelf solution. The active learning resources are cleverly produced and direction on classroom management is provided to help implementation.

Each module finishes with pupils completing "My Profile". This simple but effective device draws together work and reinforces the learning. It is just a small example of Dr Gurney's user-friendliness that makes this resource worth serious consideration in all primaries.

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